Byline: Rick Popely
CHICAGO _ Remove the key from the ignition.
That would seem to be a no-brainer. But it tops the list of theft-prevention measures suggested by the insurance industry, indicating it happens often.
No one tracks how many of the 1.25 million cars stolen last year had the keys in the ignition. Perhaps the guilty are too embarrassed to admit it.
"If your car was stolen, and it was unlocked with the keys in the ignition, what are you going to tell the insurance company?" asks Mike Liesman, an analyst with the Chicago-based National Insurance Crime Bureau, which works with insurers and law enforcement to combat insurance crime.
But an insurance company will discover the truth if the car is recovered with a factory-made key and no damage to the locks or windows.
"There's enough of them out there who don't heed sound advice or are just lazy. They'll only be running into a store for a minute, but they don't want their car to get hot during the summer, so they leave it running," said Rodney Fisher, manager of State …